A Five Hour Tour

I gave a brief presentation on The Writer’s Center in Arlington today, for a group of federal employees.

I left my house (in Maryland) at 7 am to give myself a large cushion for arrival before the 9 am start time.

I arrived at the place at 8:45 am. It was “10 miles,” according to my GPS. I didn’t even hit that much traffic, really, until I got near the VA border (typical) and to the gate of the organization itself. And then waiting in line to get security clearance to enter…

I got home again at 12:30 pm. All in all, it was a five-hour ordeal.

In my experience, typical of going to Virginia! This is why the states don’t mix much. It’s a tremendous headache/heartache to go back and forth.

Me? I’ll be back in VA on Sept 5 for The Writer’s Center’s event with Kate Blackwell for Leesburg’s First Friday.

Human Behaviour

I’m sitting in the Sky Harbor Airport right now, at the gate from which my flight will soon depart. I’m seated in front of a bank of pay phones. Twice now a U.S. Airways pilot has come by and systematically done the following:

1. Lifts the phone from the cradle and lays it lengthwise on the shelf below the phone.
2. Dials what appears to be a 1-800 number.
3. Moves to the next phone and repeats steps 1 and 2.
4. Once all phones have been initially dialed, he circles the bank again, pressing “1” on each phone.
5. Walks away.

I hung up one phone and someone walking by hung up another.

But before I did it, I wondered if this was, like, Candid Camera or something.

What’s wrong with people?

Countdown to Mexico: 2 days.

When you live in Arizona, Mexico does not seem exotic. It seems…there. Nearby. Like Canada when you live in Minnesota and pay for things with Canadian change. When someone gives you Canadian change and you can’t be upset about it because you pass it off all the time anyway, except into vending machines, which are smarter than people, smarter than you.

Trips to Mexico this year: 2 (cumulative after 12/16)
Trips to Canada this year: 2
Other trips this year: Los Angeles, Austin, Atlanta, Austin, Las Vegas, Santa Barbara, Nebraska, Michigan

I don’t think I want to write poems anymore. Or, to be succinct, I think I don’t want to write poems anymore.

I want to write things that people read and say, “I don’t know what that is.”

Or, better yet, “I don’t know what that is
but I think I like it.”

O Canadia!

It was a long journey, but we made it to Calgary for WordFest, the international writing festival. The city itself is beautiful—although quite large, it has an intimate feel that belies its cosmopolitan vibe. And it is full of hot Canadian men. I might just get married this weekend…we’ll see if I can snag myself some Canadian citizenship.

On the docket: readings, readings, readings, and hopefully a lot of writing, and seeing an old friend, and some new ones.

It’s cold here. Very cold, by Arizona standards. Although some of my travel companions are from cold climates and haven’t been Arizonized yet, me? I’m freezing. I bought a special wool winter coat for this trip (and for January’s frosty AWP in New York) and have been bundled up in it and a scarf. Tomorrow: buying a hat, probably. It’s that cold.

But, beautiful.